MORTON captain Jim McAlister admits the Championship is going to be a tough league next season.

McAlister’s old team Dundee will be in the division next term after they were relegated from the top tier, while Dundee United and Inverness Caley Thistle, who reached the promotion play-offs, are among the bookies’ favourites to challenge for the title.

Partick Thistle were one of the most improved sides in 2019, as they secured their survival and look to improve under manager Gary Caldwell.

With other teams cutting their budgets, including Morton, it’s set to be a tough task to finish in the top four this season.

Despite a rocky second half to the season, the Ton finished strongly with three wins in a row to secure fifth spot in the division.

The 33-year-old, who signed a new deal with the club on Tuesday, says they need to build on their positive end to the season by starting strongly to have any chance of competing at the top end of the table.

He told the Tele: “I’m not going to come out with a stupid statement and say the league is going to be easier this year. It’s an incredibly hard league to play in.

“We’ve now got both Dundee teams in it, and both of them will fancy their chances of getting back to the Premier League. Inverness, who I thought were fantastic last year, are going to be a top team.

“Although they’ve lost a couple of players, they’ll recruit well and hopefully we can hang in there with teams like that.

“I spoke about it a number of times last year but it’s a consistency factor that killed us over the season.

“Hopefully we can nail that early doors and start the season positively.”